slowly but ever so surely i’m making progress on The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s). i got a few of the 16′ joists up on the supports while almost nominating myself for a darwin award. today odin helped me attach more joist hangers to the 14′ 2x10s so we can quickly drop in the rest of the joists.
lots of folks are asking me about the how secure the platform will be. you can probably see the top of the four supports are bolted on to the 3/4″ threaded rod that runs through the trees. the bottom of the supports are attached to the trees with 3/4″x8″ lag bolts. the top of the supports which i think are called knee braces are made from 2×8″ treated lumber and angled boards are notched into the top and attached with 1/2″x6″ lag bolts. the joists in 16″ on center. somewhat surprisingly, everything is level and mostly square!
the supports are about 11′ off the ground and the joists add another foot, so the treehouse will be about 12′ off the ground when i built it on top of the platform.
i’m pretty impressed with the stability of the structure. hopefully, i’m just as impressed after all the joists are attached and the flooring is put up 🙂
( side note: the blue rope is part of the the most super awesomest tree swing. EVAR! )
so i’m building the platform for the floor joists for the The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s) out of really big and heavy treated 2x10s a the problem arises. how exactly am i supposed to hoist the two “sistered” fourteen foot 2x10s that make up the ends of the platform twelve feet in the air so i can attach them to the sixteen foot 2×10 joists?
i had attempted to recruit a small army of strapping, oldish men to help me out, but we got rained out last weekend and i just wanted to make some progress without having to coordinate another work party.
“easy!”, i thought. i’ll use a pulley and counter-weight the boards with a trash can loaded with about 250 pounds of paving bricks that i just happen to have laying around ( i just knew they’d be useful for something! ) and pull the two fourteen foot 2x10s that are screwed together up twelve feet and nail in the joists.
what could possibly go wrong?
so, i hauled the trash can up the ladder precariously perched against the tree, and wound the pulley rope through the handles and around the can and started loading it with pavers. after putting in about 250 pounds worth of pavers in the trash can it started dropping and the fourteen foot 2x10s quickly started to raise up to the required height! awesome!
whem it was just about where i needed it to be, i realized i still had to climb back up the ladder and huff and puff to get it up and over the 3/4″ threaded rod that’s holding up the supports that the joists will run along.
creeeaaaaaak. the handle on the trash can started to give way and the rope started to unwind and loosen while i’m standing 12 feet up on a ladder trying to “man handle” a couple hundred pounds of treated lumber.
all too slowly it dawned on me that if the rope gave out completely i probably wouldn’t be able to keep holding on to the boards and they’d fall down the ladder and take me out. hard. double hard.
luckily i summoned the strength to hoist the boards over the threaded rod and rigged the slack in the rope to hold them in place while i quickly screwed in a couple of joists.
phew. but still. a close call. yikes.
why yes, i’m slowly making progress on The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s) since drilling two foot holes through the trees! the supports are up ( i’ll show more on the design later ) and today i started framing out the 14’x16′ platform for the 2″x10″ floor joists that will be built around two of the trees.
so, once again, i paid a visit to nelson’s agricenter to pick up four 14′ 2″x10″s and a couple 16′ 2″x10″s. only, i didn’t have the car so i had to take odin’s radio flyer wagon. the fine folks at nelson’s are used to this kind of behavior from me, since i only live a couple of blocks away.
as i wheeled the wagon into the lumber barn, the lumber guys didn’t skip a beat.
lumber guy number one: “i see you’re starting another big job, huh.”
lumber guy number two, scratching his head: “well, i dunno, i guess we’ll skip putting a red flag on on it.”
“yeah, probably doesn’t need it. just going down the road.”
so they loaded the boards on the wagon and i wheeled it down the street to much to amusement of several small kids playing in yards along the route.
wanting to make progress on The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s) i asked about drilling a hole through a tree and got some fantastic advice which led me to ordering a big bit, baby. but how to get that bit through the tree? well, for that, you need a big drill. something like the milwaukee 3/4 inch “super hole shooter” which our local true value “agri-center” has in stock for rent.
the agri-center folks loooove when i start a big project and are always very helpful with advice and tips. when i picked up the super shooter the rental guy told me to keep a good grip on it and to be mighty careful because it’d really want to twist me around the tree.
turns out it went smooth as a hot knife through butter.
after i drilled the hole, i banged a 3 foot threaded rod through the hole which will hold the tree house supports. i thought it would be a pain to get the rod all the way through but it went in without too much of a fight.
next up, hanging the supports without falling from the ladder!
i’m hoping to drill a hole straight through two trees, run threaded rod through the holes and bolt the tree house supports to the threaded rod. so now i just need to figure out how to drill the holes through two trees that are about 15 feet apart so everything will be level after i start building the deck on top of the supports.
he has a vision of building three tree houses in The Big Spruces in our backyard ( one of which is already home to the most super awesomest tree swing. EVAR! which has served us well over the years ) connected via rope bridges and possibly a zip line from the house.
i like his style. how could i possibly say no?